PODCAST: Dominyka Obelenyte

Dominyka Obelenyte, four time black belt world champion, is back in Durham teaching a seminar at Elevate MMA! We talk to Dom about the shoulder injury that’s kept her off the competition mats (and why art is more dangerous to her than jiujitsu at this point). We also make plans for a Dom-designed DWB rashguard, the grappling camp in Virginia she’s teaching next weekend, about equal pay for women in the BJJ world and much more. Plus, learn about her favorite grapplers of the moment to watch and about Dom’s own competition future — will she shift to a superfight focus?

Our Year End Awards: Frequently Asked Questions

What’s All This Then?
We’re giving year-end awards for jiujitsu throughout the Southeast! For a full and comprehensive list of who is eligible and the rules, we have longer posts here and here.

Who Are The Candidates?
We are closing nominations Dec. 1, and giving the awards later in December. So there’s still time to nominate! We are keeping a running list of the candidates here, and you can let us know if we missed anyone by …

If I Don’t See Someone Deserving on the List, How Do I Nominate Them? 
Lots of deserving candidates out there! You can nominate additional candidates by emailing us at cagesidewhup@gmail.com, posting in the nomination threads on Facebook, or sending Jeff or Lourdes a message.

How Do I Vote / Support My Deserving Candidate?
A panel of judges from a variety of jiujitsu teams will decide the winners, so there is no popular vote (at least not this year!). But you can still support your favorite candidate by posting your picks and a few reasons that person is deserving!

Even better, you can call and leave us a voicemail at (360) 389-2830. Tell us who you’re supporting and why! Not only might this help persuade the judges, you might end up on the show giving out props to a winner during our awards show in December.

Thanks for participating!




PODCAST: How Romance Novels are Like MMA

How are writing and fighting related? Jeff and Betsy talk with two romance novelists who have written a three-book series set in the world of MMA. We talk about how stereotyping fighters (and fans) is misleading, what Ultimate Fighter contestant inspired one of the protagonists (the answer will surprise you, striking vs. grappling and why neither writers nor fighters want to leave it up to the judges.

Making a Training Plan For Jiujitsu at Purple Belt and up

Your job at white and blue belt is to learn, reinforce and try to master the fundamentals. Every gym defines what those fundamentals are slightly differently, but however your gym’s fundamentals curriculum is structured, your time at white and blue belt has to end with you knowing it inside and out.

In August, I wrote about how to make an improvement plan while you’re a white or blue belt. A lot of the off-the-mat tactics for improvement — visualization, yoga, meditation — remain the same, and are never going to be bad for you. Those practices are all things I still do as often as I can. As you advance in the belt ranks, though, you can expand your knowledge and skillset — both because you’re going to be able to assimilate more information, and because more techniques become legal in competition.

This doesn’t mean you abandon the basics. Quite the opposite. Refining my understanding of the fundamentals is something I expect to do for the rest of my life. Yet as your knowledge expands, the more you realize how much there is to know.

That’s why structuring your training becomes more important at high blue belt, purple belt and thereabouts. It’s the most efficient way to know what you know, and conversely what you don’t know. Evaluating your knowledge base helps determine your drilling and learning priorities. Of course you should keep coming to class, including the fundamentals class. Extra drilling and focused training during rolling are great ways to get faster, better results in addition to class.

Here are three strategies I’ve used in order to try to improve as much as I can every day, every week and every year.  Continue reading